Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another Long Post

Boy, do we have a lot of catching up to do. Sorry (but why do you care?).

In case you forgot, September brought with it Talk Like a Pirate Day. My girls assured me that it is indeed an INTERnational holiday. Lucy, above, poses with her eyepatch (innovative design of JDub herself) and hat (made up and knit by Kiki). Lily made her own hat, complete with cut outs of the skull and crossbones. And JDub made her an eyepatch, too. Those patches are awesome!!!
Sadly, I did not make the gorgeous sweater (a la White Stripes). Anthropologie, baby.
Also in September, Lucy took her spinning classes. She learned to use Lotte Faye at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. Check out the rest of her Pirate Day get-up, complete with two sweaters that I did make and stripey socks.

Lucy has also been knitting quite a bit (as have we all). Here she models a tie she made - her own design - out of tape. It will be a holiday gift.
And guess what she finished? That's right! Her Five Jive sweater, the first sweater that she designed all by herself, complete with cables and seed stitch borders. The beautiful necklace was made for Lucy's birthday by Illanna.

Back view, showing the cables along the raglan decreases. This is only the second sweater that Lu has ever made, and what a great job! The yummy pink yarn is Malabrigo wool.

Lily made and then felted this Lily from a kit. Great job, girls!!

Stephen designed, knit, and felted this container for me for my birthday (also in September). It is in Nashua wool and is the perfect tabletop notions container with all of those pockets. And the little strapy handles make it portable. We use it every day.

Lily has been doing a lot of finger knitting lately. This scarf is my newest accessory, and I love it. Perfect for a Halloween lover like myself.

While in Indiana this summer, Lucy attended Clay Camp at Papa's shop. Lily also spent some time working in clay, and these birthday goodies are part of the results. Lucy made some green bowls to add to my collection (I must have 100, but love them all, and love to find new ones). The heart is especially nice, even when it isn't filled with candy. She also gave me this very sweet turtle. I get a little emotional about it. It's almost enough to make me go through the storage boxes to find my turtle collection. Then again, I think that this one will do just fine.

Ok. So, it has been almost a month since my birthday, and I am still reeling. I wrote a piece about it, about friendship and time passing. If you would like to read it, it is the newest installment to the INKED section of our website. I recommend that if you were with me this birthday or in the weeks that followed, you may want to read it.

The best part was not catching up to Stephen in age, or even the gifts (although those were/are great), but the fact that I was able to celebrate in a way that I did not think would ever be possible. Thanks to everyone who was there, and to everyone who continues to stretch out this birthday, week by week. I love you all.

I really did not want to list all of the gifts in the style of "Look what I got, nah nah nah", but this blog is about what we made, so, we'll let the gift post be about what our dear ones made. We'll start with Stephanie of Spritely Goods. Her handspun is divine, and I can't wait to use it. I think it will be trim on either a.) long gloves/mittens b.) a sweater featuring my own handspun from her batts or c.) a belt/sash/long scarf-like object that is not a scarf. I may just cast on and see what happens.

This Noro bag was knit by JDub Jessica. She really knows what I like, including the goodies tucked inside (some of her stitch markers and a vintage hook). The relief pattern in the stitching really shows up well, and I love to carry this bag. I try not to overstuff it because it is so beautiful, which means I usually end up carrying three of four other bags. I know, being a bag lady ruins any fashionable effect I am going for, but there is always a chance I will need one or more of that big wad of circular needles. Steve calls me The Janitor with all of my "keys" jingling every time I reach into my bag.

Meet Spherey. I love Spherey. She/he? follows me everywhere. Mel is becoming known for all of the stuffed toys she creates (this one is from the Jess Hutch book, very cute), all of them much-treasured and very special. I feel honored that I rated such a nice one, and wonder just how it is that Mel is able to catch such unique spirit in each creature she makes. He was even cute when he only had one leg, even if he did scare Pam. Oh, I get it. I guess Spherey IS a he.

This is a very delicate, very special bowl that Bernice made for me. Ok, I had a fancy-schmancy Bernina and embroidery machine five years ago. I never made (or even saw) anything along these lines. Bernice told me to put soap or candy in it. But I can't seem to make myself cover even one of the perfect stitches. It is gorgeous, and reminds me of cut glass. Bernice surprises me over and over again.
Lately we've all heard it. Lace knitting (or knitting lace, if you prefer) is HUGE. Everyone is doing it. I am lucky enough to have knitting friends (or friends who knit, if you prefer) who are experiencing the joys of "kfb, yo, k2tog, k3, ssk, yo, sl, k2, psso". This is Erika's first, yes very FIRST, attempt at lace making. Freakin' unbelievable. Cherry Tree Hill made the yarn, and the pattern is from Interweave Knits, but the magic is all Erika. Wow.

I especially like the size of this shawl, something that I can never get quite right in my own attempts.
Another neophyte to the world of lace knitting is Pam. This is her first foray. She used my Random Lace tutorial to create my new favorite scarf (right after the Halloween one that Lily made me) out of Noro "Lily". It is so soft, and I have already worn it several times. It is only 85 or 90 degrees outside these days.

Quit looking at the above picture, concentrate on this close-up of Pam's work.
No, I'm not pregnant. I'd like to blame it on Big Green (the sweater from hell that I just can't get rid of), but I'm just fat. But Stephen cut my hair, and I do like that. Miss Foxbot Queen/King 2006 Illanna-Tron "made it work" with this fuzzy sweater from Rebecca. Oh, I wish I had a pretty European girl to hold my hand, to frolic on the beach in winter in our stylish knitwear. Until then, I'll take the sweater on its own. The fit and the detailing are perfect, as is dear Illanna.

Hey, Letoya made these earrings!! Don't know who made the dress. Some old lady, probably, and I love her, too.

You know my favorite colors? Well, Letoya does. She gave me this wonderful fabric. I already made a sample skirt, and plan to use this for the real thing. Good thing that I made the sample's been a long time since I have sewn anything but knitwear, and I am a little rusty. I hope that I got all of my mistakes out before I cut into this stuff. Letoya, you really, really pay attention to detail. I can't wait to wear it with the sweater I made out of that Egyptian Cotton. Perfect match.

The other thing I can't wait for is to use these spooky owl eyes. Jenny E. gave me these wonderful vintage notions, including a crazy monkey and a button that says "thief". I did steal her magazine one time, but I gave it back....
Thanks again everyone, for the perfect presents, and for making my big day so very BIG. And Thanks to Terry and Fred for the cake and party that night at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. I love you all!

What is it with Fall Birthdays? I guess that 25-35 years ago, no one had anything to do in January and February....because almost all of our knit group members have birthdays around this time. It has been a lot of fun making goodies for everyone, and keeping secrets. For Illanna, we decided on the theme of "housewares" and then pretended that we were hip enough designers to add beauty to her fab new apartment. We even settled on a color scheme before setting to work. Lily used Cascade "Fixation" to make a washcloth and soap bag for the bathroom, and Lucy knit and felted this bowl (pattern in One Skein) out of Lopi she had dyed herself. It looked like candy corn before we felted it!! The bowl is perfect for holding the washcloths and soap.
For the living room, Stephen created a table runner to go on Illanna's long coffee table. This is HIS first attempt at lace (I told you it was big. That Lace, she's so hot right now). I got just a little bent out of shape. Last year, he gave Illanna the first sweater he ever made, and now it's lacework. Tell me, where will the madness end?

Anyway, I contributed a little to this project. I spun the yarn out of three colors of reddish/pinkish fiber. Here's a close-up of the Mermaids Mesh stitch pattern, courtesy of Barbara Walker (of course). By the way, Steve is now hooked for life on lace.

But that doesn't mean that he's given up his first love, felting.

These little vessels are for displaying on the table with the runner. They are free-form, and very organic in design. I love them. There is always money in the banana stand (below). The quarters helped it to keep its shape while drying.

And finally, for Illanna's bedroom, I made these pillowcases. Or at least I made the trim. It is out of that fake and/or real cashmere from Jade Sapphire, in a bright orange.

I also used the Barbara Walker books for my lace work. This one is for Illanna, and is called Queen's Edging, very appropriate.
And for Max, the Shark's Tooth. I really had a hard time knowing which one to use for him, but decided to steer away from anything with "Double Faggoting" in the name. If you look carefully, though, you can see that there is a bit in the actual design....oh, well. Every boy deserves to have his secrets.

Happy Birthday, FoxBot!!

Last Friday, we were all set to celebrate Stephanie's birthday, but one nameless member of our family came down with Spots, so we put a big "Q" on the door and turned people away. We didn't even remember to take a photo of Stephanie's gifts before slipping them outside to her. Steve made a bigger felted vessel in a deep, rich purple wool, and I made purple socks for her. You can see photos on her blog here.

Until next time, have fun, and celebrate your own birthdays. Coming soon, Secret Pal news. You know, from August. I really, really suck.

At any rate, Knit On,



At 10:01 PM, October 09, 2006, Blogger illanna said...

Hey JanitorBot, I am cracking up. I'm so glad you linked to my *real* blog up there... notice that I don't update that one either! I've had the urge to update my blog lately, so watch out world! Thank you so much for my lovely wonderful gifts, and for taking beautiful pictures of the gifts that you received. Everything looks so pretty! Lucy, your sweater is fantastic. PATTERN! No, just kidding.

So, I have been using the fantastic soapy scrubber every shower since you gave it to me (which was only 2... in 3 days...) I also filled the cute bowl with all my makeup and face lotion. It fits perfect and it looks a lot better than the baggy that it was in before. I made sure to give the baggy back to Max so as not to waste it. One of the felted vases fits my sewing bobbins perfectly by the way. It was super fun placing all the home themed knits all over my apartment. I have to say that I won't be using the runner for its intended use because it's just too beautiful to just leave on the table. I think it makes a much better shawl, so I'm going to wear it all around town. Max is trying to figure out why his myspace got so many hits today...

By the way, I was conceived on New Year's Eve, so that explains my birthdate. Maybe all the other knitters' parents were trying to keep warm in December and January, so they decided to try and have a little knitter.

Off to read your inked essay! First comment! HAHA! ...i said haha...

At 10:01 PM, October 09, 2006, Blogger illanna said...

That comment turned out bigger than I expected, so that's my blog post for the week.

No one better tell me that I never post.

At 3:59 PM, October 10, 2006, Anonymous Sissy Muffy/Aunt Mel said...

Oh Katie - I loved your Birthday/Friendship piece in the INKED section. I absolutely love your written words. I am so glad you had such an awesome birthday, surrounded by your favorite people. After 34 years you have decided that you may be a naturally grouchy person???? You make me smile and make my heart happy.

For sure love the new hair-do courtesy of Stephen - what a great husband, he can cook, knit and now cut hair!!

Lucy and Gracie your pieces are awesome - I am very impressed. I love that you dressed up for "Talk Like a Pirate Day".

Please continue to create and blog so I can catch glimpses of your life in Arizona. You know that I love all of you!

At 4:37 PM, October 10, 2006, Blogger Stephanie said...

:) oooh all the photos are just lovely - and I love my bag, and my socks :D
Hope the Q is down - I'm needing to get my LG time in!!

At 4:29 AM, October 11, 2006, Anonymous Jaclyn said...

Katie Jo -

I LOVE the new haircut! All the knitting is inspirational - as usual.

At 8:10 AM, October 13, 2006, Blogger TeAntae said...

Now that I can official post as me and not be all secretive...

Love the post and all the pictures! So clever and fun. =) Belated happy birthday too.

At 10:35 AM, October 23, 2006, Blogger Suzie said...

Hi kiki, Just wanted to let you know I got your amazing package!! I've already posted to the blog. Thanks so much again.

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